Archive for March 12th, 2009

ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Our lovemaking sessions are getting shorter and shorter and they leave me unsatisfied. Two years after our wedding, it’s just a quick one two or three times a week.

It is quite understandable that you are disappointed. Your husband may have his faults, but are you sure you have done everything you could to prevent things deteriorating so? After two years of marriage, you should know what your husband likes, what his fantasies are, how he reacts when sex comes up in conversations and how he sees the ideal woman. Perhaps all that is needed is for you to take a few initiatives, introduce a little fantasy into your lovemaking ritual so that he and you can get more fun out of it and make it last longer.

My husband’s workload gets heavier all the time, and he gets home exhausted in the evening. He wants to sleep rather than make love, and in the morning he’s still snoring when I wake up at half past seven!

Try this. Tomorrow morning, get up at half past six, fix him a good breakfast and bring it to him in bed. People are in top form in the morning and have forgotten their troubles of the night before. Your husband will certainly take advantage of his extra half hour to take you up to the seventh heaven!

When I have my period, my husband insists I suck his penis. That wouldn’t be so bad, but because he knows I don’t like to swallow his sperm, he holds my head when he ejaculates to keep his penis in my mouth.

This is quite serious. You and your husband must do something, or your union will not last long. Your husband ought not to treat you like this, but your negative attitude is no solution – it will merely make him cling onto his fixed ideas.

You say: “he insists I suck his penis” – which suggests you find that abnormal. In fact this is common practice in a great many couples. I would advise you to take a positive attitude next time you have your period. Instead of “obeying” his “demands”, take the initiative and tell him you are going to give him a treat. Start what he wants you to do, and do it lovingly. When you see he is on the point of ejaculating, take your mouth away but masturbate him rapidly and tell him you like to watch when he comes. When it’s over, start again to caress his penis with your tongue and lips. I am certain he will not ask any more of you. You will have succeeded in satisfying him without feeling forced and without any reflex of disgust.

When we make love, my husband often makes me sit on him and asks me to caress my own breasts and clitoris in front of him.

I imagine you often used to caress yourself before you met your first man. You probably even did it in front of the mirror, and enjoyed watching yourself. Now you have a man instead of a mirror, and he is the one who watches and enjoys what he sees. Nothing could be more natural. Don’t hesitate to caress yourself in front of him, even without waiting to be asked. It is a good way of arousing his desire and yours.

My wife has weird ideas. When I get home from the office around half past seven, she often wants to make love right away. I think it would be more normal at bedtime.

First of all, in love nothing is “normal” or “abnormal”. People make love when they feel like it. The only trouble is that two people don’t always feel like it at the same time. Good relations in a couple depend on being available to each other. In any case you have a wife with imagination who shows you she is in love with you; you are a lucky man and ought not to complain!

Are there any statistics on how long lovemaking lasts on average, and how many times a week?

There are, but you would do best not to read them! The only thing that counts is that your wife and you personally make love as often as you like and for as long as you want. Do not put an alarm clock by the bed to see if you have beaten your record!

The other evening, just as we were going out to dine with friends, my husband took my panties off. I thought he wanted to make love, but he just wanted me to go out with no panties on. I felt uncomfortable all evening.

Have your read The Story of 01 It includes a scene like that, but O is then obliged to lift her dress every time she sits down so that her buttocks are in direct contact with the seat. And she is not allowed to close her knees.

In O’s case it is a matter of learning submission. Whatever one may think of it, that is eroticism. In your case, it is just a fancy your husband had. It also implies a sense of complicity that would normally have got you both excited as you dined with your friends.

My husband took me to see a porn film. I thought it was horrible. I know he has been to see other films; how can I stop him?

Careful! Broadly speaking, the worst thing you can do is to stop someone doing what they want. But your question deserves a more detailed answer.

You would be right to find certain scenes in these films “horrible” – with a few exceptions they are not even erotic. On the other hand, the fact that you do not go with him creates a hiatus between your way of seeing sexuality and his.

Here is one way of resolving the problem. The video clubs have cassettes of some quite well-made X films, far less vulgar than the films shown in porn cinemas. Next time your husband wants to see a porn film, suggest he hire a cassette and watch it on your video screen. In the first place you will not be bothered by the other people in the audience. And if there are scenes you don’t like, your video machine has a fast-wind button so you can skip a scene and just watch the scenes you find erotic or which show you something you would not have thought of on your own.

The girl I live with is the ideal lover, except for one detail: she will never let me into her anus.

If, as you say, it is just a detail, forget it! But if you begin to get obsessed by the idea, try to think objectively. Have you been too hasty? Be patient. Take every chance you can to get your partner used to anal caresses. Later, she will no doubt find it easier to let you insert a finger (preferably during intercourse). In the end she may find this agreeable. Only then should you try anal intercourse. But do not forget the most important thing: every act of sex should give pleasure to both partners. If it does not, you must not repeat it.

My wife does not want the light left on when we make love.

I guess she is very young, a bit shy, and not very sure of herself when she caresses you. Do not wait until you are in bed before you begin the foreplay. Caress her and ask her to caress you while you are watching television. Encourage her, tell her she is doing it just right and that you like to watch her do that. You will find she very soon comes to accept soft lighting when you make love.

Every time we make love, my husband continually calls me dirty names like bitch, slut, sow.

Do not worry. Many men behave like that. It is their way of letting off steam. It certainly does not stop your man loving you and respecting you. Pay no attention or, better still, play the game and jokingly call him a pig, a shit, an exhibitionist etc.

My husband reads porn magazines on the quiet. I find the pictures disgusting.

Your husband is like most men, and you are like most women! For a man, lovemaking is an exciting spectacle, be it in his own bed or in a magazine. Women are more sensitive to the “romantic wrappings” of love. When you see a pornographic photograph, two ideas come into your head: first you think you are not as sexy or attractive or beautiful. Next you think some of the poses and acts are degrading.

On the first point, do not worry. Your man is not making comparisons when he looks at this type of picture. He loves you the way you are. As to the second idea, tell yourself no pose or act is degrading when two people really love each other. Until you can accept this principle, you will leave your husband unsatisfied and you run the risk of losing him.

I have just read an article about battered wives, and it has got me worried because last week, my husband gave me a resounding spanking. And yet he is always so gentle with me…

There is nothing to worry about. If your husband were a brute you would know it by now. You say yourself he is usually very gentle.

You must understand the difference. A battered wife is beaten and ill-treated because her husband wants to punish her, or because he is violent by nature, or because he is drunk and has lost control of himself. A spanking is not a punishment, it is merely an erotic game. Next time, take it in fun and do not be surprised if you end up enjoying it. And there is nothing to stop you doing the same to your husband if you feel like it!

My wife and I sometimes have minor arguments, and those days she refuses to make love. Sometimes it can last several days.

You should talk to her about it openly. There are rows in every household. But making love is the best way of preventing lasting resentment. Moreover, when she deprives you of your sexual satisfaction she is depriving herself as well. It is often said that rows are settled in bed, and it is a good philosophy.

My husband gave me a fur coat That evening he had me get undressed and put on the coat to do things I daren’t describe.

I can see what you are thinking. You have the feeling you have been treated like a prostitute. If someone gives a present they should not expect payment. You are right, but in the first place no one gives a fur coat to a prostitute, and secondly it is perfectly natural for a man to expect thanks for a fine present. The pity is that he demanded the thanks. Would you have taken the initiative? Only you can answer.

I’m in love with a man fifteen years older than me, and he is married as well.

Whether he is married or not makes no difference. Most men fifteen years older than you are likely to be married!

For the moment, the fifteen year gap does not matter too much. It is likely to matter when you are fifty, but you have time to prepare for that when it comes. In any case your union may not last that long.

The important thing for you right now is to realize that he has already seen a lot of life, he has acquired his habits, and he may not want to start again with you, having to teach you everything from scratch. If you already have some experience and an open mind, everything should be fine. But if you are new to the game, try to learn fast or you may be heading for disappointment.

My husband often reads the small ads in the sex magazines. I’m afraid he may want to drag me into some wife-swapping scene or something…

Perhaps he is, but he is far more likely to be reading these ads because he finds them funny with their coy, ambiguous euphemisms. You ought to read them too and laugh. You will soon see how he reacts. If the worst comes to the worst tell yourself a mate-swapping session often goes no further, and is a lot less serious than if he had an affair behind your back.

*66\77\2*

DEVIATIONS THAT INFRINGE THE LAW: RAPE

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

In legal terms, rape is copulation with a non-consenting female partner. Here we have one point on which the notion of equality between the sexes will never be able to smooth over the basic differences between men and women.

If a man complains of being raped by a woman, people will laugh in his face. If he insists and tries to take his case to trial, he will have to settle for a lesser charge like sequestration or illegal restraint. And in any case, this is a most improbable scenario, since most men are more likely to complain that women would never think of raping them!

The sentences imposed for rape vary enormously, depending on the age of the victim, the social role of the perpetrator, the circumstances, the severity of the bodily harm caused, the prejudices of the judge, etc.

It is perfectly right for rape to be severely punished. But the punishment should not be focused on the sex act as such; what should be punished is coercion, violence, interference with individual freedom. Nobody has the right to force anyone to do anything against their will.

There are fringe cases that the courts have difficulty dealing with: a woman raped by her husband or a prostitute raped by an uninvited customer. The courts tend to demand proof that the victim was not more or less willing.

The victim may also have to show that her dress and behaviour did not constitute an invitation to rape, or at least a mitigating circumstance for the rapist. A girl wearing a mini-skirt, no bra and a plunging neckline, hitching on a country roadside at two in the morning, will find it difficult to make police or courts take her seriously.

There are no statistics on the number of rapes actually committed annually. The number reported to the police is growing every year, however, probably because of the increasingly active movement of women’s self-help organizations.

In most cases rape is preceded by armed threats or violence, in order to overcome the victim’s resistance.

*49\77\2*

OVERCOMING PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS: FEARS

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Fear of being “no good in bed”. This is a fear that holds you back, stops you taking initiatives, breaks the momentum. You do nothing for fear of doing it clumsily.

From what I have said in this book, you now know what a man expects of you. That is a first step. You now have to make the shift from theory to practice. Here too communication is important. Ask your partner if he likes what you are doing, talk to him while stimulating him, note his reactions and what he says. Be a perfectionist. No man expects you to become the ideal lover from one day to the next, and no woman expects that of a man. You have all your life ahead of you to reach the peak. Rather than turning in on yourself, take initiatives; use your imagination to find variations that will break the monotony of the usual ritual. And above all do not give the impression you are dutifully carrying out a chore. Do what you do attentively, enthusiastically, and with pleasure.

The fear of becoming pregnant. These days no one need become pregnant without wanting to. If you are not sufficiently well informed about ways of avoiding pregnancy, you will find some information in the chapter on contraception and family planning later on in this book.

Strangely enough, there are women who only reach a climax if they have no contraception and so stand a chance of becoming pregnant. And this is especially strongly felt at the most fertile stage of their menstrual cycle. These are rare cases, however.

Fear of orgasm. This is a more frequent inhibition than one might think. The sexual climax has been called the “little death”; you are afraid of passing out, of coming so intensely you lose all self control, of being at the mercy of the man who has made you come; you feel ashamed to have him hear if you involuntarily cry out or moan.

If you have never had an orgasm, begin by masturbating on your own. This way you will learn what you can expect to feel when you make love with your partner.

Remember your partner expects you to express your joy. On the contrary: he will feel frustrated if you do not give voice, whole-heartedly, to the pleasure he is giving you.

Many women do not have orgasms for the sole reason that they reject it – even if this is unconscious. Do not be one of them. Let yourself go. Most of all, let yourself shout out your enjoyment.

Other problems within the couple are due to a lessening, or even an absence, of the sex drive.

You have recently had a baby and you do not feel like making love.

This is perfectly natural even from a physical point of view, especially if it was a difficult birth. It takes six to eight weeks for the pain in the genital area to die down completely. Don’t hesitate to tell your partner. He may not have realized. He must go gently, and if he hurts you, you must tell him so kindly. Make up for a rather dry vagina with a gentle lubricant. Try to avoid reflex muscular contractions of the vagina: during intercourse, push as you learnt to do in labour.

The lack of desire may also have a psychological cause: a transfer of affection from the partner to the child. Watch out for this. Many men find new lovers soon after the arrival of a baby. Your maternal love must not be allowed to affect your sex life.

Another reason for low sex drive can be post-natal depression. If you feel severely depressed, don’t tell yourself it will sort itself out. See your doctor, this is the only way you will sort it out.

Whatever the reason for your lack of sexual appetite, remind yourself that your husband’s sexual needs and desires continue unchanged throughout your pregnancy and after. Do not leave him wanting! This is the best moment to perfect your skill in the art of fellatio.

*34\77\2*

MASTURBATION TECHNIQUE: MASTURBATING A MAN

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Before she starts, the woman should settle into a comfortable position so as not to get tired while masturbating her man.

With the man lying on his back, the best position is to sit, knees bent, on his right side, leaning across his thighs with your weight on your left elbow and your left hand slid under his buttocks. Of course your face should be towards his face, so that he can touch your breasts.

Take the shaft of the penis in your right hand and slide the skin up and down the shaft. Do not close your eyes, but watch what you are doing. You should find this excites you too. Look at your partner’s face now and then to see how he is reacting.

Ask him if he wants you to go faster or slower, if he wants your fingers to squeeze harder or more gently. With a bit of practice you will learn to vary the style, change rhythm, switch from using the whole hand to using just the fingers, or roll the skin of the penis between your two flat palms. You can moisten one hand with saliva to gently stroke the glans while the other hand masturbates the shaft; you can also gently stroke and knead the scrotum.

At the moment of ejaculation, accelerate the to-and-fro movement until all the sperm has been evacuated. The glans is now highly sensitive. With sperm lubricating your hand, continue to caress glans and penis, but very lightly and very slowly. Do not stop until the penis is completely limp.

Another variant is for the man to kneel over the woman’s body, placing his penis between her breasts. She presses her breasts around the penis with her hands, while he thrusts it to and fro in the close fold between.

*20\77\2*

THE MALE SEX ORGANS: HOW THEY WORK?

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Contrary to a widespread belief, there are virtually no muscles in the penis. It is purely the rush of blood into the corpora spongiosa that causes the erection. At best, one can move the erect penis slightly by muscular contractions (and only when the penis is erect). It is a mistake to think that with the right muscular exercises one can produce or encourage erection.

At the base of the penis arc the testicles. These are two oval organs contained in a bag of skin called the scrotum. There is a network of muscular fibres in the scrotum that makes it retractile. During intercourse or when cold, the scrotum tightens round the testicles. The function of the testicles is to produce and store spermatozoa.

During the sex act, the spermatozoa are mixed with seminal fluids produced by the seminal vesicle, the prostate gland and the Cowper’s gland. The resulting mixture is semen; it is ejected in spurts through the urethra at the moment of male orgasm.

(The spermatozoa, or sperm cells, are visible only through a microscope. They are long, thin and thread-like with a flat head at one end which contains the chromosomes of heredity. A healthy man produces half a million sperm cells a day, no less! A spermatozoon takes two months to reach maturity.)

It may be useful to add a few words here about the prostate gland, which causes problems for most men, usually around the time of their “sexual retirement”.

This little gland (which is about the size of a chestnut) itself contains about fifty minute glands which produce a fluid which, when the man ejaculates, is mixed with the sperm stored in the seminal vesicle. It is the contractions of the prostate gland that force the semen out of the penis in spurts.

Cancer of the prostate does occur, but less often than many people imagine. On the other hand, benign enlargement of the prostate is a fairly frequent occurrence, and is fairly easy to detect by feeling around the rectum.

The first sign of prostate enlargement is difficulty in urinating. The prostate presses against the urethra and prevents the bladder from emptying completely. The sufferer has to get up several times a night to go to the toilet, and must massage the perineum to facilitate the passage of the urine.

If the symptoms worsen, an operation is called for, either from the inside of the penis, in benign cases, or by an incision in the bladder.

Removing the prostate may affect the urinary sphincters to a greater or lesser extent, so that they do not close completely on ejaculation. The subject then ejaculates backwards into the bladder, so that there is no visible ejaculation.

Many men feel frustrated by this lack of visible ejaculation even though the sensation of orgasm is unaffected. This is a purely psychological reaction, but it has led many men to believe, quite wrongly, that their virility is diminished.

Women may also be perturbed, mistakenly believing that their lover feels less pleasure without external ejaculation. Other women find it a positive blessing, however: a woman who disliked having her man ejaculate into her mouth can now continue to fellate him until after he has ejaculated.

*6\77\2*

THE DISABLING DISEASES: NEURITIS AND NEURALGIA

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

When pain accompanies an illness, it is usually because the disease has inflamed an organ and irritated the ends of the pain nerves, or pain fibres. However, there are certain conditions in which the nerves themselves become inflamed. Such nerve inflammation is called neuritis. If the irritation affects a nerve that carries pain fibres, severe pain will be perceived by the brain, which is the central ‘receiving station’ for all pain nerve fibres. We usually speak of this pain as neuralgia.

When nerves that do not carry pain fibres, such as the motor nerves to muscles, are destroyed by the polio virus, there may be total paralysis without any pain.

The peripheral nerves connect the brain and spinal cord with the muscles, organs, skin, eyes, and so on. The peripheral nerves may be affected by a variety of diseases and injuries. When a peripheral nerve is involved, the condition may be either neuritis or neuralgia.

The peripheral nerves usually contain both pain and motor fibres. Thus, a disease that affects the peripheral nerves would be expected to, and usually does, cause painful symptoms plus some paralysis of muscle power.

Special types of neuritis and neuralgia

Frequently, instead of a generalized irritation of the nerves, only one nerve is afflicted. For example, a person may be sleeping in a cold draught that blows on the left side of the face. The next morning, the side of the face that is ‘powered’ by muscles controlled through the facial nerve may be temporarily paralysed. This type of paralysis is called facial palsy, or Bell’s palsy. Most often, such a paralysis will clear up after some days or weeks. Sometimes, a tumour presses on the nerve and causes facial palsy, or the nerve may be injured by a blow, a cut, or a bullet. In such cases, the results of treatment will depend on the success in treating the tumour or injury. If the cause of facial palsy is not apparent, or the condition does not improve, your doctor is justified in sending you to a neurologist for his opinion.

Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the widest and longest nerve in the body; it runs from the spinal column to the lower leg, where it divides into two branches. It is exposed to many different kinds of injury in the back, in the pelvis, and even along its course in the lower legs. Injury or inflammation of the sciatic nerve causes pain that travels down the leg from the thigh or the back into the feet and toes. Certain muscles of the leg may be partly or completely paralysed, making it difficult to move the thigh and leg. When this occurs, the doctor makes a careful search for the origin of the sciatica. He knows that this will generally reveal some definite reason for the neuralgic pain. There may be a back injury or irritation from arthritis of the spine, or pressure on the nerve that occurs during some types of work. Certain diseases, such as diabetes or gout, may be the inciting factor. It is true that some cases of sciatica will turn out to be the idiopathic variety—that is, without known cause.

If the cause has been located, the cure will be facilitated by correcting the underlying trouble. In addition, sedatives and physiotherapy may be required to relieve the pain or disability.

Shingles (herpes zoster)

Herpes zoster, or shingles (the word ‘herpes’ means ‘creeping,’ and ‘zoster’ means ‘girdle’), is a terribly painful inflammation of the sections of the nerves that have just emerged from the spinal cord.

This illness is caused by a virus. Fever and prostration may accompany the pain when shingles first develops. After the illness starts, small blisters, or vesicles, usually—but not always—appear on the skin along the course of the affected nerves. Frequently, this will be on the chest. There is a form of shingles that inflames the nerves leading to the face and eyes; this form is especially dangerous because it may cause damage to the vision.

The ordinary attack of shingles runs its painful course in a matter of days or weeks and does not leave any residual difficulties. In some instances, most frequently in elderly people, there is a persistence of pain that may be terribly disabling.

Neuritis and neuralgia of other spinal nerves

Any one of the many nerves travelling out from the spine may be affected by injury or disease. For example, the nerves that lie between the ribs may become inflamed and cause pain in the chest that may resemble pleurisy or even a heart attack. This form of nerve ailment is called intercostal neuritis or neuralgia. Similarly, the nerves travelling down the neck to the arm may be subject to various injuries and diseases. For example, a chronic pain in the hand or arm is sometimes traced to the irritation caused by the pressure of an extra rib in the neck. Doctors call this the cervical rib syndrome. Sometimes too vigorous pulling on the nerves in the neck, such as might occur in difficult obstetrical deliveries, causes the condition known as brachial nerve palsy, which may lead to paralysis of the arm.

Neuritis and neuralgia of the cranial nerves

I have mentioned ailments like sciatica that strike at the spinal-cord nerves. However, there are also 12 pairs of important nerves leading directly from the brain, called the cranial nerves. I have described Bell’s palsy, which results from inflammation of the facial, or seventh cranial, nerve. There is another nerve, the trigeminal, or fifth cranial, nerve, which also ends in the face and jaws.

This nerve may be the source of a neuralgia that causes spasms of pain on one side of the face. This trigeminal neuralgia is also called tic douloureux. It may be set off by a draught of cold air, by chewing, or by other factors.

The nerves leading to the retina of the eye may be involved in various ailments. This condition is called optic neuritis and, because of its potential danger to vision, requires immediate treatment. Any of the other cranial nerves may be damaged by infections, tumours, and toxins. Any disturbance of vision, hearing, balancing, swallowing, taste, or speech may be a signal of trouble in the cranial nerves and should be mentioned to a physician at once.

Injuries to nerves

The peripheral nerves may be cut, bruised, or torn by fractured bones, blows, or gunshot wounds. Nerves have a capacity to heal and regenerate. A torn or cut nerve should be treated by a surgeon who specializes in such work. If necessary, go hundreds of miles for such treatment if your doctor advises it, rather than take a chance on paralysis and other serious consequences of nerve injuries.

*284\68\2*

SPECIAL HEALTH PROBLEMS OF WOMEN: MENSTRUAL DISORDERS

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Menstrual disorders may not mean anything and, in fact, usually correct themselves. However, it is always important to consult a doctor about them. I cannot remind you too often to be sure to consult a doctor if there is bleeding between periods or after the menopause.

Absence of menstruation (amenorrhoea)

The term primary amenorrhoea is used if menstruation has not occurred, although the age of puberty has been reached. If it begins and then ceases, it is called secondary amenorrhoea. This type of amenorrhoea is normal during pregnancy and often while the mother is nursing. It is quite apt to occur sporadically in the first and last months of a woman’s child-bearing years.

In rare cases, primary amenorrhoea is caused by malformed or underdeveloped female organs. For example, the hymen may completely block the vagina, causing retention of the menstrual blood. It may also be due to glandular disorders, in which case it can often be cured or at least partially corrected by taking the proper hormones—but never do so without a doctor’s prescription. Primary and secondary amenorrhoea can be caused by general poor health, a change in climate or living conditions, and by emotional factors, such as the fear or hope of being pregnant.

Menstrual flow that may be so slight as to amount to little more than staining occasionally results from the same causes. It is sometimes due to anaemia.

Excessive menstruation (menorrhagia)

This means an exceptional amount of menstrual flow at the regular periods. The term ‘irregular endometrial shedding’ is used for extra menstrual periods. It is not easy to describe the amount of menstrual flow that constitutes menorrhagia. However, if ordinary pads do not afford protection or if the menstrual blood forms into large clots, be sure to consult a doctor.

Irregular menstruation

Irregularity may be due to a harmless change in nature’s timing, which will correct itself spontaneously, or to changes in climate or living conditions, or to emotional factors. On the other hand, it may result from a disease in some other part of the body, such as the thyroid gland, which should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. It may be caused by a tumour of the uterus (womb) or the ovaries. Most important of all, bleeding between periods can be a warning of cancer. It should be reported immediately to a doctor.

Painful menstruation (dysmenorrhoea)

Many women experience discomfort at the onset of their periods. For practical purposes, I would say that a woman has dysmenorrhoea if her menstrual cramps do not yield to aspirin or some other mild pain reliever, and if they prevent her from engaging in her work.

Often dysmenorrhoea cannot be accounted for by any organic condition. This kind of painful menstruation is almost never found in women who have had a number of children, and it is found only occasionally in married women. In many cases, there is conclusive evidence that it is caused by emotional factors.

I do not mean that this pain is imaginary. It is quite real, and can be relieved by such medicines as anti-spasmodics, analgesics, and various brand-name sedatives.

Pain between periods

Some women experience pain approximately midway between their periods, at the time of ovulation. It may be accompanied by leukorrhoea or a slight show of blood. As a rule, the pain is brief and moderate. Sometimes, however, when the ovum breaks through the wall of the ovary to start its journey towards the uterus, it causes quite severe pain.

Premenstrual difficulties

Headache, depression, irritability, slight nausea, and puffiness of the abdomen, skin, and other parts of the body may precede menstruation. The reasons for premenstrual tension are not fully understood, but we know that they are associated with a disturbance of the salt balance, resulting in the accumulation of water in the tissues. Often these symptoms vanish with medication or a salt-free diet.

*228\68\2*

AFTER THE DELIVERY: NORMAL CONVALESCENCE

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Doctors have discovered that surgical patients do better if they get up soon after an operation. They find that the bowels and bladder function better, there is less danger from infection, and the patient’s strength returns more rapidly.

The mother may experience some after-pains during the first day or for several days after the baby is born. These are due to the contractions of the uterus, which is rapidly shrinking back to its original size. They are similar to menstrual cramps and, though usually not troublesome, can be controlled by aspirin or similar medicines.

Occasionally a woman will have a chill soon after delivery. This may be a nervous or emotional reaction.

The mother may wonder why her baby is brought to her to nurse about 12 hours after he is born, before she has any milk. There are two reasons for this: the thin fluid she secretes, called colostrum, contains substances extremely valuable to the child; and both mother and child need experience in the art of nursing.

Your intestines will be sluggish after childbirth, so your doctor will probably give you a laxative or a mild cathartic. He will then probably order an enema if your bowels fail to move. Your bladder may be sluggish, too, especially if you had a forceps or a breech delivery. If you cannot urinate, the doctor will catheterize you. This is a quite painless procedure.

You leave the hospital

Most mothers leave the hospital within a week, sometimes less, after their babies are born. You may become impatient and want to go home even earlier. You may even have a spell of restlessness, and beg your doctor to let you go.

Next to the feeling you experienced after your baby was born, there is nothing so wonderful as the way you feel when you, your husband and your baby leave the hospital together. But no matter how much you long for that moment, be sure to take your doctor’s advice. He knows how strong or how weak you are, and how much you are going to have to do when you get home.

In the meantime, take it easy, rest as much as you can, and prepare yourself for the next part of the great adventure of having a baby.

*173\68\2*

YOUR MIND AND YOUR EMOTIONS: PSYCHO-ANALYTICAL THERAPY

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Sigmund Freud was the originator of psycho-analysis. Although very few psycho-analysts nowadays proceed exactly as Freud did, there is no psycho-analysis that does not derive from him. Nevertheless, we usually speak of Freudian and non-Freudian psycho-analysis. An important difference lies in the fact that Freudian psycho-analysis usually consists of -as many as five hourly sessions a week over a period of several years, whereas in the non-Freudian forms, shorter, less frequent, less protracted sessions are considered sufficient. In the latter forms, more emphasis is placed on the immediate situation of the person and his relationships with others.

Psycho-analysis

This process consists of uncovering the unconscious forces influencing the person, which he cannot, simply by will, bring into his consciousness. The person does this by free association (saying anything that comes into his head), by telling about his dreams, and so on, to the psycho-analyst.

Once the unconscious material has been brought out, the person begins to feel relieved. Insight makes him stronger, his unconscious less powerful. He can then begin reacting in a new way.

The person has usually spent many years reacting in the old, self-defeating way, and habits are not easily changed even when one understands how they came about and wants very much to change them.

Psycho-analytically oriented psychotherapy

While they employ some of the techniques of psycho-analysis, these forms of therapy are much shorter. They concentrate on everyday problems of reality rather than on the person’s unconscious. It is felt that this therapy does not encourage the person to become dependent on his analyst or his sessions with him, but to do the work on his own.

Group therapy

Usually four to ten people are treated during the same therapy session. Some psychiatrists combine it with individual treatment. It is considered valuable because the persons react to one another as well as to the doctor, and because their self-confidence is increased by being with people whose problems are like their own.

Family therapy

Because the psychologically maladjusted person may be the product of an unhealthy family situation, many psychiatrists and other therapists have turned to family therapy as a method of help. In such therapy, the entire family may work out its conflicts and difficulties through discussions, in the same way as an individual does in the more conventional type of therapy.

Play therapy

This is a form of psychotherapy adapted to children. Anyone who has tried to help an emotionally disturbed child knows how hard it is to get him to talk about his problems. Play therapy provides a solution. The child reveals himself, far better than he could by talking, when he plays with toys and acts out his fantasies. Play therapy is usually combined with some form of therapy for the parents.

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COMMON SKIN TROUBLES: PIGMENTATION; FRECKLES AND OTHER SPOTS

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

The less pigment the skin contains, the lighter its colour will be; those rare people who have no pigment at all are called albinos. If your skin produces little pigment, you should guard against sunburn. White areas (vitiligo) that appear on the skin are usually due to a loss of pigment in certain areas. If they are conspicuous, the best thing to do about them is to cover them, or to avoid getting tanned, which makes them more conspicuous.

Some people have skin that will freckle on exposure to sun. If you are a freckler and have to spend a good deal of time in the sun, expose your skin as little as possible. A heavy suntan lotion or face powder will help. Some lotions contain a perfume oil that can cause dark brown spots, so to be on the safe side, use one without a perfume.

Do not use a freckle remover. Anything that is strong enough to be effective may cause a severe inflammation unless it is used under a doctor’s supervision. Usually, the best thing to do about freckles is to cover them with face powder or, if necessary, with a cosmetic preparation.

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